A recent newspaper article told of a man in North Carolina who claimed he could walk on water. He had allegedly told friends in a barroom of his unique ability. He was later found in a local creek-- -drowned!
Of course, most of us are familiar with the jokes about a famous football coach who was so successful he could "walk on water." But in reality we find that walking on water is a human impossibility. The law of gravity says a man will sink to the bottom of the water despite his efforts to walk on it. Yet we read in Matthew, Chapter 14, of One who was able to not only successfully walk on the sea, but he did it in the midst of a storm of apparent hurricane force! Jesus Christ was out walking on the sea in a storm so fierce that his disciples (many of them veteran fishermen), were almost hysterical, so much so that they even thought Him to be a ghost!
Here is the biblical narrative: “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:23-33).
How could any man have the power to walk approximately seven miles on the stormy sea? (Matthew 14:24). The answer, of course, is that Christ is no mere man, but the God-man: “God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16). He was in the beginning. He is the Creator. “All things were made by Him” (John 1:3). The Creator of the universe has every right to do what He will with His handiwork. He is the King! He is Sovereign! So if He wanted to walk on water, He has complete liberty to do so.
It is interesting to note that in the chapters preceding, we have a progressive revelation of Christ first in Matthew 8:27. He rebuked the wind and sea and it was immediately calm. His disciples declared “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” In Matthew 12, He spoke of Himself as Son of man. Representative man as our second (and last) Adam, to restore what humanity lost in Adam. In Chapter 13, He is the Great Rabbi (teacher), and spoke of Himself as a prophet (v.57). But here in Matthew 14, He clearly reveals Himself as God, and as we saw in verse 33, they worshipped Him as the Son of God.
One of the most striking things about the event recorded here is that Simon Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus began to sink and he cried out, "Lord Save Me!" (Matthew 14:30) He knew he was helpless and that he did not have the power to save himself. So he called on the only One who could save him.
It is important that we who are Christians realize that if we take our eyes off Jesus, and look at the storm, and angry waves of this present day, we too will sink in despair! If we look at the storm clouds of immorality and permissiveness of today which threatens to overwhelm our country in a tidal wave of sin; if we look at all this instead of our Savior, we too may be swallowed up--- in defeat! We must keep our eyes on Him who walks with us in the storms!
Sadly in our day, many have taken their eyes off of Jesus and are looking to other things for salvation. But like the man in North Carolina, and like Simon Peter before he looked to Jesus, those trusting in any ability but Christ's will sink. We must realize we don't naturally have the power to walk on water, nor save a soul. We must urge people to “look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). The One who said "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth: For I am God and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22). This One is the Lord. “I am the LORD I change not” (Malachi 3:6). He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Let us urge men and women to look to Him.
“My disorder was a violent fever: Jesus hath rebuked it. I am raised up once more. Oh may it be that I may minister unto Him! For me to live is Christ. But, alas! How little do I live to His glory. Yesterday (December 16, 1750), I entered upon my seven—and--thirtieth year. I AM ASHAMED TO THINK I HAVE LIVED SO LONG AND DONE SO LITTLE!”---George Whitefield, Vol 2, page 289; American edition published by Cornerstone Books, Westchester, Illinois in cooperation with Banner of Truth, London, 1970. (Emphasis mine, cw) (Whitefield did so little? May God help me who truly has done so little!)
"Let us never for a moment think that our standing is in our sanctification, our mortification, our graces, or our feelings, but know that because Christ offered a full atonement, therefore we are saved; for we are complete in Him. Having nothing of our own to trust to, but resting upon the merits of Jesus—His passion and holy life furnish us with the only sure ground of confidence." Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening.
“True grace may ebb and flow but never die. Job's complaint ended in the former chapter: in this a hot dispute began. Job having cursed his day, as was indeed a wounding, such as almost at every word, drew blood; and was not only a rod upon his back, but a sword at his heart.” Joseph Caryl on Job.
“Cling to Christ, I say, and never forget your debt to Him. Sinners you were, when you were first called by the Holy Ghost, and fled to Jesus. Sinners you have been, even at your best, from the day of your conversion. Sinners you will find yourselves till your dying hour, having nothing to boast of in yourselves. Therefore, cling to Christ.” J.C. Ryle
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org